Published On: Wed, May 16th, 2018

Helen Tai Wins Special Election to Represent 178th District in Pennsylvania

Helen Tai (right) defeated Wendi Thomas in Tuesday’s special election.

Democrat Helen Tai narrowly defeated Republican Wendi Thomas in a special election Tuesday to represent Pennsylvania’s 178th District.

Tai will now complete the term of former state Representative Scott Petrie in the 178th District, which covers the borough of New Hope, along with Northampton, Solebury, Upper Makefield and Wrightstown townships.

Tai garnered 6,359 votes (50.4%) to Thomas’ 6,263 (49.6%), a 96-vote margin, effectively flipping the district into blue territory (Petrie is a Republican).

“There were so many terrible things happening, and I thought, ‘I’ve been going to these protests, I’ve been calling Pat Toomey with no response,’ and it was so frustrating,” Tai recalled in her acceptance speech. “I thought, ‘I can do something actually positive, instead of protesting and complaining. There’s more that we can do.'”

Posted by Give 'em Helen on Tuesday, May 15, 2018


“I am looking forward to Helen joining the ranks of the House Democrats,” said Democratic Leader Frank Dermody. “At a time when our Commonwealth is in need of new ideas, Helen will bring her proven record of government reform to the state House.”

In other election news, Scott Wallace (25,734 votes) handily defeated Rachel Reddick (14,779) and Steve Bacher (3,591) in the Democratic Primary Election for representative in Congress.

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Displaying 17 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Mel can you save us the trouble and paste it here?

  2.' Melvin Band says:

    If anyone really wants to get insight into the belief system of politicians, go to their blogs. Read Helen Tai’s comments on pages 190-193 about the “Morning After ( posted 11/10/16). See if you are in sync with her views.Read these pages a few times. It’s a real eye opener.

  3.' Republican says:

    Did Helen Tai really win a mandate, or did she win based on a technicality? On another site someone brought up some interesting numbers:
    If you take a look at the votes in the Primary and in the Special Election, something weird happened. Wendi got 6,653 in the Republican Primary and Helen got 6,274 in the Democratic Primary. HOWEVER…Helen got 6,359 in the Special and Wendi got 6,263. This just doesn’t make sense. The only rational explanation is that Bucks County R’s thought they just needed to vote for Wendi once. BCRC may not have done enough to remind voters they had to vote for her twice, and thus, costing them a House seat.

    My Reply:
    Great point! If your Primary numbers are accurate, it certainly looks like a “Technical Win” for Helen Tai, and it appears that the Democrat Machine coached their voters much better than the Republicans. However, shame on those Republicans who couldn’t or didn’t bother to figure out if you only voted once for Wendi Thomas you had to vote for her against Helen Tai in the Special Election and not in the Primary where she was unopposed. Shame on the Wendi Thomas Poll Workers who did not properly coach the Republican voters.

    It’s obvious that Democrat voters knew what they needed to do by racking up more votes in the Special Election vs. the Primary. Maybe it’s time to have a recount circa the “Hanging Chad” Florida recount. What was the intent of those Republican voters who only voted for Wendi Thomas in the primary slot?

    Regardless, this special election should not have been this close. Going forward, The Bucks County Republican Committee needs to start running “Real Republicans”.

  4.' dkoban says:

    Helen Tai, I know how hard it is to toss your life into the political fray. Thank you for running, and more then that, thank you for winning. Congratulations! It is important that you have people, who voted for your message, like me, offer continued support. You are not alone. I am proud of your campaign and proud to offer you my continued support as you represent the good people of New Hope, Pennsylvania and more.Be well! Diane

  5.' Saul Barry says:

    Congrats to Helen Tai! I think this is the first time a Democrat has won this seat since the early ’80’s…

    If this is yet another sign of change, November can’t get here fast enough.

    Time for the Blue Wave to wash away the mess of the last 18 months.

  6.' New -Hoper says:

    Tim obviously has bought into the divisive name-calling so cynically exploited by the Trumpers and their Russian cohorts that it now substitutes for coherent policy discussion. I think the US is ready to move beyond that and make policy based on reality and not archaic labels.
    We have “Tai-d” one on!

    •' Tim says:

      unless I am mistaken no name calling has occurred minus you. Your response is quite typical of one who feels threatened by someone who presents a counter viewpoint based on, surprise, fact. A typical left leaning response, unfortunately.

      I simply have no use for politicians who use children as pawns regardless of party. However it is quite a common tactic among the left to exploit our children for political gain so I am not surprised you advocate for such a position.

      Oh yeah, Hillary by a landslide…

  7.' Ann says:

    Have to say I am somewhat confused… The PA elections returns site says Wendi Thomas won. The only confirmation I’ve seen that Helen Tai won the election have been news articles and her Facebook announcement. Why the discrepancy in numbers?

  8.' Melvin Band says:

    Now that Helen Tai will be going to Harrisburg, is it true that she will have her husband appointed to her spot on the Solebury Supervisors?

  9.' Mike says:

    Congratulations to Helen Tai! We look forward to your win in November!

  10.' Tim says:

    Wake up Solebury! We cannot let “politicians” like Helen Tai win! She is divisive and has effectively levied a tax on all New Hope residents to allow their children to use Solebury sports fields.

    If Helen will tax your children what do you think she would do to homeowners? Helen does not respect anyone not like her.

    A 96 vote win today can be overcome in Nov if you get out and vote!

    •' Sandra says:

      I am not a Helen Tai fan & I did not vote for her. That being said, stop with the “taxing children” rhetoric. She pushed to get New Hope residents to pay their FAIR SHARE for recreational activities. Solebury residents were unfairly paying for the New Hope residents’ free ride.

      •' Tim says:

        “Fair share” is liberal-speak for tax. Call it what it is.
        I live in Solebury and did not support her partisan politics using children as pawns. This shows you her true colors.
        Helen refused to consider alternative discussion points when the truth is that the two localities were not far apart. If you disagree with Helen you receive the cold shoulder.

        •' Sole-Berry says:

          Tim, keep up. You are barking up the wrong tree. The Solebury Supervisors attempted to work this out with the New Hope council for months! NH refused to meet and kicked that can down the road. The ‘truth’ is that there was no discussion because NH never came to the table. NH is run, or should I say, not run, with any transparency – as shown with all the recent issues coming out of city hall. So, you can chose the other candidate – but find an issue that has merit behind it, but this one has none!

          • The Solebury Suopervisors lead by Helen Tai wanted to charge NH 3x the amount they owed for the sports programs. Even the Solebury Parks & Rec department called her out on her absurd numbers.

          •' Mike says:

            Tim is on point! Helen based “New Hope owes us Money” on numbers whose veracity was even questioned by the Chair of Solebury Parks & Rec! (Not just New Hope)… My understanding is they were based on the ENTIRE parks & rec budget not just Sports fields and related piece of the P&R budget) When New Hope put out their numbers as they said they would (just not on Helen’s/Solebury Supv’s timeline), their numbers show Solebury owes New Hope money… Bottom Line: It’s an attempt to tax New Hope residents by Solebury…

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